Houdini famously took part in many seances after his mother died trying to find out if there was an ‘after life’ and being a showman he was able to expose every supposed mystic he met. It doesn’t stop people believing though, as many in this country regularly go to mass meetings where individual’s start telling them what messages they are receiving from the ‘other side’.
The Greeks and Romans had a whole show of their own, placing oracles in dark tunnels, strangely dressed in torch light and sometimes disjointed voices in the dark, a dark ruled by Hades or Pluto, one step away from the demons of Hell. And the oracles said much the same thing as they do today with lines that could be taken two ways and some indistinct probings that sometimes hit their mark with the credulous visitor.
That, of course, is the heart of the whole matter. The credulity of those who approach the mystics hoping, wanting, even praying that there is an afterwards, there is a place where consciousness continues to exist. Not of course doubting that decrepit bodies won’t be decrepit any more. Nor doubting that some great mystery ties it all together. That the blood stream of life and the pulse of death are all connected in some indefinable way in the dark of ignorance.
We would all do better to put aside all thought of living after death, and live while we may. It is after all, what life is for.